What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy (aka Regenerative Injection Therapy – RIT), also known as ligament reconstructive therapy or sclerotherapy, is a recognized orthopedic procedure that stimulates the body's natural healing processes to strengthen joints weakened by trauma or arthritis. Joints weakened when ligaments and tendons are stretched, torn, or fragmented, become hypermobile and painful. Traditional approaches with anti-inflammatory drugs and surgery often fail to stabilize the joint and relieve pain permanently. Prolotherapy has the unique ability to directly address the cause of instability and repair the weakened sites, resulting in permanent stabilization of the joint. When precisely injected into the site of pain or injury, prolotherapy creates a mild, controlled inflammation which stimulates the body to lay down new tendon or ligament fibers, resulting in a strengthening of the weakened structure. When the joint becomes strong, pain will be relieved.
Prolotherapy's Range of Applications
Prolotherapy can be used to relieve a broad spectrum of conditions, including:
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Compression fractures
• Knee conditions
• Herniated discs
• Chronic headaches
• Tennis elbow
• Shoulder pain
• Varicose veins
• Temporal mandibular joint dysfunction
• Work-related injuries
• Sports-related injuries
• And Many More!
Knee X-rays - Before and After
Prolotherapy's Role in Chronic Pain Relief
Prolotherapy is part of the comprehensive approach we take to curing chronic pain. We evaluate each patient thoroughly with a personal history and physical exam and specialized laboratory analysis. We may ask patients to have X-rays performed before receiving prolotherapy. In all cases involving chronic pain, Dr. Hoffmann will use his expertise in dietary and nutritional medicine and recommend specific supplements to maximize your health and ability to heal.
How Effective is Prolotherapy?
The success of prolotherapy depends on a number of variables, including the patient's history and ability to heal. Some 85-95% of patients suffering from low back pain with hypermobility, for instance, experienced remission when treated with prolotherapy. In comparison, the Journal of Bone and Joint Therapy reports only a 52% improvement in patients treated with disc surgery. Overall, we have seen reduction in pain in approximately 80-85% of patients.
Are Prolotherapy Treatments Painful?
Patients can have prolotherapy without the need for anesthesia. The pain of an injection will vary depending on the structure to be treated and the choice of solution involved. Because prolotherapy uses inflammation to heal the body, it may result in mild swelling and stiffness, which can be treated with pain relievers such as Tylenol.
How Often Are Treatments Administered?
Prolotherapy treatments are administered as determined on an individual basis, usually every one, two, or three weeks. The length of the treatments is variable and depends on several factors, including nutritional status, ability to heal, and the degree and site of the injury involved. Some patients may experience complete relief from pain along with restoration of full function after only one or two treatments. Generally speaking, however, back and neck problems require from six to eight sessions and less extensive injuries from one to six sessions. The gold standard usually is four to six sessions. We ask patients to avoid any heavy-duty exertion during the treatments, but they are otherwise usually able to pursue their normal life and work schedules in between sessions.
What Is The Difference Between Prolotherapy vs Cortisone?
Injecting cortisone for any injury has fallen out of favour, mainly because cortisone was found to actually weaken and lead to further damage in the affected area. Prolotherapy strengthens the damaged tissue and assists with healing. Many patients are confused when it comes to treating painful joint conditions with cortisone versus prolotherapy. It must be understood that cortisone and prolotherapy are not the same treatment and the effects of each are dramatically different. Cortisone, like prednisone is a corticosteroid and has numerous adverse and harmful side effects on bone, joint and soft tissue healing. Actually prolotherapy compared to cortisone has many opposite effects for the treatment of ligament, bone and soft tissues and is a safe and recommended treatment for painful musculoskeletal conditions.